Former President Clinton, in an appearance on Larry King Live tonight, said that not all the people who criticize President Obama are racist, and that if Obama were white, the same people would oppose him.
"I believe that some of the right-wing extremists which oppose President Obama are also racially prejudiced and would prefer not to have an African-American president," he said. "But I don't believe that all the people that oppose him on health care, and all the conservatives, are racist. And I believe that if he were white, every single person who opposes him now would be opposing him then."
"Therefore, while I have devoted my life to getting rid of racism, I think this is a fight that my president and our party, this is one we need to win on the merits," he continued.
Last week, former President Carter said, "An overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man."
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, however, has said Obama does not believe attacks against him are racially motivated.